If I were to ask you to listen to If These Trees Could Talk and classify their genre in at least three categories, I would be confident that you couldn’t. What I deem as the most unique album I have ever reviewed, this album is in fact a first in many ways, not just on a personal scale but in a broader sense. In fact, the strange but pleasing instrumentation The Bones of a Dying World, brings traverses into waters that I originally was a little skeptical about but the Ohio metallers/rockers proved a point and completely changed my hypothesis of the album. Seriously, the best way I could describe this album is the modern day version of Pink Floyd. Lots of ambience, synth, hints of psychedelic-ness, heavy focus on brilliant song structure and composure, elements from many genres all across the platform, and a plethora of atmospheric bliss. All that and much, much more is present on this album as it steps away from the competition and ventures out into its own league. The album leaves much room for experimentation which I think is very awesome when a band steps outside of the invisible metal boundaries. I mean, for having well over a decade of experience, it certainly has paid off which is quite clear and concise with this album.
Solstice, opens the album in a very foreboding and somber manner. Eerie melodies quickly transforming into a down-tuned affair, the guitars, bass and drums all bleed together into a melting pot of dark adrenaline. The switch off between the heavier and lighter sections is very stimulating while the main melancholic sound lurks in the shadows waiting to reappear. A well balanced rhythm section leaves a memorable taste as the multi-guitars come in also. Earth Crawler is a mix between light and dark, ravenous and calm, just as if you yourself were crawling in the Earth looking for that source of light only to be eventually swallowed into the grips of the gorge on this one. Bordering between metal agression and soothing tranquility, the constant change and progression keeps the listener wildly attentive. The Here & Hereafter is one of those tracks that cannot be heard without a little enhancement. Ahem, a little dose of the good green I’ll say, this track just over two-minutes is nothing but metal bliss, one that leaves you floating on an ethereal cloud of exquisite nature. This is what an atmospheric track is all about if you’ve ever wondered what that’s all about.
The second half of the album gets oh so much better and eargasms get triggered intensely. The Giving Tree, is my favorite off the album and just leaves you with a sensation of goosebumps all over. How can a track like this be so beautiful, it’s like those scenes when you hear someone get all teary eyed after hearing an opera track. The harmonic and melodic aspect is too perfect for this track, I don’t know how they pulled it off. Imagine for one moment running in a forest, trees everywhere, sunshine rays poking in and out when it can, running innocently without having to worry about anything in this world. A six-minute escape to another world, the emotional imagery that is triggered is beyond comprehension. The Giving Tree has given more than it’s fair share. Berlin is no different. Eccentuating the melodies with great leads and astound experimentation, the track ventures into the territories of space rock. Of course the album closer One Sky Above Us, brings in an eloquent entrance which builds up to a more metal and rocker friendly atmosphere. Heavily progressive, the track invokes perhaps some of the best riffs on the album which eventually leads to a melodic phase of unearthly beauty.
As initially mentioned, a first in many ways, this is the first time listening to an instrumental only album, the first time reviewing the group and the first time reviewing an instrumental only album. At various points I thought to myself, these type of vocals would sound okay here or some screams would be nice here and there but after listening to the album, it is subtle the way it is. Vocals may tarnish the magic the album brings as this album forces you to really focus on instrumentation only verses vocals included. No need to worry about lyrics, high or lows in vocals, clean or screaming singing, deep vocals or light vocals, the album gives a voice to the instruments instead. One of the highlight albums of the year, The Bones of a Dying World is I think the most unique release of 2016 and one of the more unique acts to grace the metal world. Stay Metal \m/
The Bones of a Dying World: 8.5/10
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